Dear stats students,

I was grading your time management projects with the bar graphs.  Many of you have pleasant, cushy schedules.  Some don’t.

I saw a couple of things that saddened me.  Though you seemed to recognize that the canned answer for a school time management project is always “study more,” some of the areas to cut seemed to be areas that are too vital to cut.   They included sleep, time with children and/or family, and time with friends.

Consider my caution as one who constantly over-plans time and is constantly looking for ways to establish balance again.

Sleep – many of you are 18 and 19 years old.  Sleeping sufficiently is normal.  Sleeping until your bodies are done sleeping doesn’t make you lazy; it makes you healthy.  Let me be a little clearer.  Not sleeping until your bodies are done sleeping will make you unhealthy.  Develop habits that will set you up for success in the future.  What do you want to do with your lives?  My dad used to say that it is of the utmost importance to stay healthy because not staying healthy will inhibit your ability to be who you want to be in your lives.  You can’t be as effective at work, school, play, caregiving, art—or just life if your lack of health keeps you having the energy to accomplish whatever is set before you.


Children and family – my children vie for my attention.  I grant it to them.  I have had to make a section in my planner where I have to check off daily that I spent time with my children and likewise a section for my husband.  I can’t screw up being a mommy or a wife.  Who cares about all of the math in the world if I don’t bond well with my family?  That requires going on walks one on one with one of four other family members.  That requires reading stories when I can think of a million other things to do if my lap would be vacated.  It requires the time to come home and retrieve a child to run errands with me instead of finishing it quickly on my own just for the chance to ask the kid how his or her day was. They are important.


Friends – are these good friends?  Do they inspire you to positive outcomes?  If so, don’t avoid cultivating a relationship because you feel that you need to hold your noses to the grindstone.  It is human to connect with others.  It’s a beautiful part of humanity.


Statistics may be a thing that gets you to where you want to go in life.  Statistics is valid.  You should aspire to understand it thoroughly and become proficient at the art of making sense of quantitative data.  Statistics, nor any other class, IS your life.  It’s a worthwhile stepping stone in your life.  Your education serves a beautiful and utilitarian purpose in your lives.  If you need to give up something to make more time to study, don’t give up your lives to do it.  What inspires you?  Don’t give that up.


Finally, a shout out to the many of you who are holding down jobs.  It’s hard.  I hear you.  We are all cheering for you.